The 2019 NFL Pro Bowl is a wrap, with the AFC thumping the NFC 26-7. The AFC looked like they might secure a shutout, but Dak Prescott connected with tight end Austin Hooper in the fourth quarter for a touchdown to prevent the goose egg.
The San Francisco 49ers were well-represented at the game, with tight end George Kittle, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner all got significant playing time. Kittle led all pass catchers with five receptions, while Buckner tied for the lead with two pass deflections. Juice got carry on 4th and 2, but couldn’t get the conversion.
Kittle’s five receptions only resulted in 39 receiving yards as he was primarily a check-down option for the NFC quarterbacks. If you were ever wondering just how good an offensive mind Kyle Shanahan is, this was certainly one example. NFC head coach Jason Garrett couldn’t get his offense to get much of anything going. You’d think Scott Linehan was still coordinator!
On the other hand, for a game that is generally viewed as a joke, it was kind of cool to see the NFC give offensive players opportunities to play defense. Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley, and Ezekiel Elliott all got opportunities at edge rusher, with Kamara actually having some success. The NFC was plenty comfortable in the second half sending out offensive players all over the place. There’s something to be said for that!
This year’s Pro Bowl felt like it went on full tilt in the second half. It’s kind of fitting given how little people care about the game. And yet, it is still something people watch, getting over 8.6 million viewers last year. It’s kind of crazy it gets those kinds of viewers, but if we get more randomness like this game showed, maybe it’ll get more people watching in the future. The NFL won’t get rid of it anytime soon given the ratings, so we’ll see what this year’s ratings bring.
All that really matters is the three 49ers players walked away without any injuries. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a knee contusion early in the game, so it was certainly not an entirely clean game in that regard. But fortunately, no problems for the 49ers as far as I can tell.
Oh, and Jason Witten apparently broke the Pro Bowl trophy after the game. Heck of a day in Orlando!